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Do most homeschoolers homeschool for religious reasons?

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
post #2 of 50
In my experience AP is rather rare among homeschoolers. A large portion of the hs population is religious but secular is increasing.
post #3 of 50
I think that these days secular homeschoolers are gaining in numbers on those who HS for religious reasons.

As for the AP thing, I don't think religion has much to do with it. I've known AP parents of all kinds of religious stripes as well as from completely non-religious families. And, remember, "religious" does not equal "fundamentalist Christian", devout families come in many varieties.
post #4 of 50

I think there are so many hs'rs

and since there isn't really any one big time when we get together that it may be both. I live in Dallas and I have met one family who is secular. Every other hs'er I've met are pro-rod (hee hee, I just came up with that all by my 'wittle self, aren't I talented :LOL ). I have seen 2 groups that are "open minded" in Dallas and like 6 in Austin. All the rest I've looked up seemed like AP wouldn't fit in. I am a unique shade of gray so not super AP but not rod either. I've noticed though that the more of the rod I see here, the more AP I go.

On a funny side note, Bryan's mom thinks I am of the devil for hs'ing but it would be ok if we were doing it for religious reasons. I wonder what she's say if I informed her I didn't believe in the devil? Somehow, hs is only good when you hit your children. She didn't understand why I was worried when ds's best friend as ps climbed the tall slide and told him that he could jump down and God would catch him. Ds was too scared....thank goodness!

Liv of the make believe devil
post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 50
I live in Indiana and it's definitely a challenge to find non-fundamentalist-Christian homeschool groups. There is a group called LEARN that's non-religious that we plan on hooking up with, but the group in my county is super religious. Their mission statement, which one must agree with to be a part of the group, includes parts about how non-believers will go to hell.

So I would say that, IME, most homeschoolers in this area do so for the purpose of giving their children a faith-based education and also to limit their exposure to non-Christians.
post #7 of 50
In our area most hsers are Christian. Our group has a statement of faith to sign. But it's not to limit exposure to non-christians (I think on the socialization issue, all hsers are more exposed to the world as a whole) but more as a means of being around like ppl and to avoid certain issues that can arise in hs groups in general. This can go both ways.
post #8 of 50

Illinois HOUSE

We have both, here in Illinois. There are many chapters of the secular group Illinois HOUSE (Home Oriented Unique Schooling Experience). The group is all-inclusive and most members are not fundamentalist Christians, although there are some. Every March they have a homeschooling conference with great speakers and workshops for parents and classes from local museums, vaudeville school etc. for kids.

Many in my chapter are also unschoolers--we have a great time. It's nice to belong to a group with like-minded people who get you and whom you get. Many in my chapter are also AP. Homebirth and extended nursing and non-vaxing is not at all surprising here.

In my area there are also fundamentalist Christian support groups, some of which offer great classes for the kids. But, you have to sign a statement of faith in order to sign up. (Actually, there's been some discussion in my group as to whether that still is true. It was, but we're not sure if it still holds.) In any case they talk a lot about God and their journey in faith. Not my scene.

I think the forefront of the homeschooling movement in the 80's was mostly born-again, fundamentalist Christians. More and more secular people have since started homeschooling. Depending on where you are, you'll still find a lot of fundamentalists. But, that's true of the general population too. I think there are huge numbers who count themselves as fundamentalist Christians--a homeschooling friend of mine in Ohio is just one.
post #9 of 50
Here it appears that the bulk of the homeschoolers are Christian- but I just joined the local Unschooling group- and they are the type of people you find here at MDC. Some are Christian, most appear to be some form of AP. I think there are lots of people there who aren't purly unschooling- but we have the commonality of not homeschooling for religious reasons and having our own ways of doing things.
post #10 of 50
I think I'm pretty much the token heathen in our co-op... but AP is pretty much the norm there and with our umbrella group (which is, essentially, secular and was set up to provide an umbrella for non-Christian families). It has more to do with the area we're in, though, than the religious bent. Our co-op executive board is made up of two crunchy, AP, conservative Christians and a more mainstream, (though not THAT mainstream) CC. We have some yuppy types, very left types... it's a good mix.

Now, that said, the "norm" for this area, anyway, (Maryland) is homeschooling for religious reasons. Or, at least, under a religious umbrella because, according to MD law the only non-BoE supervisory groups have to be an approved church school. Otherwise, you have to do reviews with your county BoE. The umbrella we joined is inclusive, requires no statement of faith, religious training or specific curriculum. But they are, in fact, underwritten by an educational ministry.
post #11 of 50
We move around a lot and in every city we've lived in (Little Rock, Tucson, Wichita, San Antonio, and Hawkesbury Ontario) there were more people who were homeschooling for religious reasons that secular homeschoolers. In most places I was eventually able to find secular homeschoolers, but there were fewer of them.

There is a fuzzy area though -- there are religous homeschoolers who are homeschooling to give their kids a godly world view, and then there are people who happen to have faith yet are homeschooling just because it is what they feel is best for their kids -- not because of god. Did that make sense?

Most homeschoolers I've met are not AP, and I know several AP families who kids attend school.

I also think that people who unschool or are relaxed homeschoolers are the minority in the homeschooling world. Based on the people I've met, it seems most homeschoolers are doing school at home.
post #12 of 50
We are going to homeschool and are not religious in anyway! In our area the schools are awful unless you have loads of money to pay for a good one. My sister has home schooled four boys and succeeded in bringing up four incredibly nice young peopl .....again, not for religious reasons. We have a few people around us that want to homeschool together ..also, not for religious reasons..so it will be nice to combine and give them a social scene as well as an education! I wouldn't put my daughter in any of the schools around here ever!
post #13 of 50
I belong to a homeschooling group that's very diverse. I'm sure there are those who homeschool for religious reasons in our group, but there are also those who homeschool for other reasons. It's a secular group so we don't talk about religion much.

There are LOTS of religious homeschooling groups here, too.
post #14 of 50
I have the feeling that most the hs'ers here are doing it for religious purposes. The co-op meets in a church and one big church around here has a nice size group.

As far as hs being ap. I don't think so around here.
post #15 of 50
I live in the fairly liberal state of California. I've lived here my whole life, so I keep thinking this is normal, but my husband is constantly pointing out that I'm accustomed to leftist freaks. It's what he gets for marrying a hippie. So now that we've established that I come from an inherent sampling error I don't think any of the homeschoolers I've known irl are doing it for religious reasons. Some of them have religions (pagan, jewish and christian alike), most of them are somewhere on the AP spectrum, though one was not at all AP. But I'm a long-haired, gauzy skirt wearing, barefooted, make-up free, sling wearing, obvious hippie. It doesn't show but I'm also a home-birthing, non-circ, cloth junkie, child-led weaning, modified co-sleeping, homeschooler. I'm not exactly mainstream and those in the mainstream, and to the right of it, tend to avoid me thus increasing my sampling error. All that said, it's part of what I enjoy about these online communities is that mamas who might not otherwise meet get to exchange ideas freely without petty prejudices getting in the way.

post #16 of 50
I think it depends on the area in which you live. We live in the SF/Bay Area and the hsing community seems very diverse. Religion doesn't seem to enter into the discussions at hsing meetings (though I know there is a wide viariety within those groups). And, from what I've seen here, many tend to lean more towards ap-ing. I imagine that if we lived in GA (where I'm originally from) and in a smaller town, that the hsing groups would be more religious.

Just my take....

post #17 of 50
We're not religious, we're homeschoolers and we're AP, though not extremely crunchy (just tryin' to be... : 'cause maybe by being.... aw, never mind...).

Anyway, in our homeschool group, there are definitely a bunch of crunchyier AP mamas (perhaps 15-25% of them?) and plenty of those who are hs'ing for religious reasons and who don't seem to be very AP at all. I'm fairly new to the group so I haven't even met all the members.
post #18 of 50
See what other groups are in your area. Not everyone is going to walk into the perfect group the first time. I was in a great group in my home state. When I moved I started a group for Liberal Homeschoolers as a result of all the Fundies in my new area. We have several Christians in our group, but they are all AP moms, and none are fundies.

Reach out, and you will find like minds. I know it sounds scary, but that is the only way you are going to find like-minded families. You will be sirprized at how many people will thank you for having the guts to start such a group. I bet that there are a lot of families in your area who seek the same as you.

I do not believe that most people hs for religious reasons. That is what HSLDA says. The people who buy their "insurance" have no choice but to call themselves religious Christians.

HS'ers were originally hippies, then religious hs'ers got on the wagaon as well. Today you will find lots of moderate people hs'ng. It has become mainstream. A lot of HS'ers today are regular people.
post #19 of 50
I live in super crunchy western washington, and most of the hsers here are fundie.
We have a "sign a doctrine or sign a form saying you wont publically disagree with our doctrine" group and they have 200 families. We have an inclusive group and they only have 80 families, and some portion of those families are fundie as well. And then there is a third group which is a "not christian, but be kind to christian" group, but I dont know how many are in there. Several of the fundie churches around have homeschool groups, also.
post #20 of 50
Originally Posted by falcon
And part two of this question, are most homeschoolers AP or not?
I'm sorry, but I just have to ask what in the world "AP" means? I've never heard the term...

But in all my years of homeschooling (starting in 1989), I can only think of one person I knew who was clearly homeschooling for religious reasons. Although, come to think of it, that's just an assumption on my part, because she was the head of a Christian homeschooling support group - for all I know, she was unschooling for any number of reasons.

Most of the people I've known have homeschooled for a variety of reasons, like:
--They wanted to provide a more fun and natural way of learning for their kids - and wanted to avoid dumping them into a setting where a mean and negative kind of classroom behavior can result with so many kids being warehoused under traditional school structure.
--Their children might have had learning differences, sometimes diagnosed ADD or other things, that made them absolutely hate having to go to school each day and face disapproval, bullying, coercion, or worse. It's not unusual to hear of such kids having stomach aches and crying when it's time to go to school.
--They wanted to have their family all together for natural living and learning, and saw absolutely no good reason to send kids off to school.
--In my own case, one of the big advantages was that our son would be able to see a lot more of his Dad (who worked unusual hours).
--They felt the schools were not doing a good job at educating children, and felt they could do better.
--They didn't like the kind of attitudes and behavior they'd seen exhibited by some school kids, and felt they could provide a more stable and nurturing environment for their own kids to grow up in and form values from.
--I've had calls from people whose young teens had been threatened by gangs in schools, and calls from people whose kids were falling in with a druggie crowd - so they needed them out of there!
--Well, I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that homeschooling for religious reasons is only one of many variations.
Lillian, still trying to figure out what AP is...
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